LATEST: The British royal family refuse to confirm today's (09AUG05) press report that Prince Edward and his wife SOPHIE, COUNTESS OF WESSEX are expecting a baby.

British newspaper the Daily Mirror claimed in a "royal exclusive" that Sophie, who feared the worst since her ectopic pregnancy in 2001 and the premature birth of their daughter, 21-month-old LADY LOUISE (03), was pregnant once more - despite there not having been an official announcement from Buckingham Palace.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today, "These stories run from time to time. We are constantly receiving calls about these sort of rumours.

"We just never confirm anything until there is an announcement to be made. If there is an announcement, then it will be made.

"I am not aware of any announcement that is due to be made at all."